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2005/04 Update : This page is completely obsolete by now, and only kept as a reference as to how to install ALSA on old 2.4 kernel-based distributions.

This page describes the few steps needed to install and use ALSA (the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture) with Red Hat Linux or Fedora. As it is still not included by default, and since it contains some kernel modules and device nodes, installing, upgrading and removing ALSA isn't trivial.

Note about the kernel drivers : You will need a "kernel-module-alsa" package that was compiled for your kernel (same version and architecture). You can easily recognize a matching "kernel-module-alsa" package from its name, e.g. "kernel-smp-module-alsa-0.9.3-1.fr_2.4.20_1.athlon.rpm" will work for the SMP 2.4.20-1 athlon kernel. If you do not find a matching package, recompile the source "alsa-driver" rpm while running the kernel you intend to use ALSA with, having the corresponding "kernel-source" package installed and using "--target <arch>" to choose the correct architecture ("i686" for instance). Once this is done, simply install the resulting "kernel-module-alsa" binary rpm with "rpm -ivh". Note that if you do not specify the --target option, the default on x86 will be to recompile for the i386 kernel, which is probably not what you want. For more advanced rebuild options, see further below.

ALSA logo

Install instructions :

Everything should then be configured properly to have you use ALSA natively and also through it's OSS compatibility layer! Normally, all existing applications should still work with no modifications, they just won't take advantage of the nice features ALSA has to offer.

Testing suggestions :

Advanced rebuilding of the kernel modules :

Links :

If you have any corrections or suggestions about this document, please contact me.